It’s finally happened. After years of waiting, of endless static displays, of reading other people’s reviews, of learning that the boss has a pair for his desktop system, I’ve finally sat down and spent some time with the Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a Gold Badge monitors. I was not disappointed.
Ever since I reviewed the Falcon Acoustic LS3/5a MoFi Editions, I’ve renewed my love for this classic BBC design. For just $1,995/per, the MoFis will make you question the need for big expensive loudspeakers that take over the house. But ever since I fell in love with those tiny black gems almost two years ago, I’ve been hearing about a super-duper version of the LS3/5a monitors. First came the Kingswood Warren version, with only 50 pairs released into the wild. They were instantly scooped up. But then Falcon came up with a more permanent model known as the LS3/5a Gold Badge, which retained many of the improvements found in the KW.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
The LS3/5a Gold Badge Anniversary Edition monitors cost $3,995/pr USD, which seems like a lot for such tiny speakers. It might also seem like a lot for people like me who almost bought a pair back in the early ’90s when they were still $750/pr. But once you hear the Gold Badge monitors, $4K seems like the deal of the century. While they’re still limited in the low frequencies like the other LS3/5as, it just seems to matter less with these. The sound is balanced, open and full and way too satisfying. I shook my head in disbelief. Again.
This was the first of four MoFi Distribution rooms at AXPONA 2023, and each room was filled with all kinds of good stuff that left me grinning. In this room, the LS3/5a Gold Badge monitors were mated to both MasterSound tube amplifiers and the affordable Leak Stereo 230 integrated ($1,695). Analog source was a Feickert Volare turntable with a Origin Live Silver arm ($3,995) with a “sneak preview” of the new MoFi Studio Silver MC cartridge ($995). Digital was supplied by the HiFi Rose RS-250a streamer ($2,695).
But I walked out of that room thinking only of the Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a Gold Badge monitors. Now that I’ve heard them, I want them. And they are coming to me for review. I can’t wait.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
Also don’t forget to check out our collaboration to commemorate the event with our solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800 grams of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top with also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.
When I worked for Mark Levinson back the 70’s. All equipment was listened to before shipment. We used Vinyl and LS-35A speakers. I also owned a pair and was always impress with them. Wish I still had them.